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Jan 10

Aetna Foundation Awards Grant to C.H.O.I.C.E.S. for Girls Obesity Prevention Programs in Atlanta

New Session of S.L.I.T.E Workshops Now Enrolling Girls Who Want to Live Healthier

ATLANTA, January 10, 2014 – The Aetna Foundation, the independent philanthropic arm of Aetna, has awarded a $35,000 grant to the Center Helping Obesity In Children End Successfully (C.H.O.I.C.E.S.), to help improve the health of overweight girls and their families in Greater Atlanta. The funding will expand the Sisters in the Lifestyle Intervention Teaching Exercises (S.L.I.T.E.) workshops and the Camp Divas for Overweight Girls summer program.

“We are very thankful to the Aetna Foundation for this grant and to Aetna employees for their time and expertise as volunteers. Since we started in year 2002, our focus has been on Atlanta’s underserved communities where obesity and obesity-related diseases are prevalent. With this grant, we can increase our programming to help tween and teenage girls and their families adopt healthier lifestyles,” said Vanetta Keyes, founder and executive director, C.H.O.I.C.E.S.

C.H.O.I.C.E.S is currently enrolling girls, ages 10–17, for the Spring 2014 session of S.L.I.T.E. The three-month free program, features fitness classes, nutrition education, cooking demonstrations, field trips and special guest mentors. The workshops will be held on Saturday afternoons from February through April in the C.H.O.I.C.E.S. Center at the Commons, 125 Ellis Street in Atlanta. The cost is $50.00 per participant for the Spring session. Scholarships are available. To sign up, families can call 678.819.3663 or email

“Community-based programs can have a powerful impact in changing people’s health and their lives, family by family and neighborhood by neighborhood,” said Garth Graham, M.D., M.P.H., president of the Aetna Foundation. “We are pleased to support C.H.O.I.C.E.S.’ programs that are making a difference in the lives of girls from Atlanta’s underserved communities.”

According to a study commissioned by the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation, more than half of Americans could be obese by 2030, resulting in millions of new cases of diabetes, coronary heart disease and stroke. These obesity – related diseases could cost the United States as much as $66 billion in treatment and more than $500 billion in lost economic productivity. The effects of obesity are exacerbated in underserved communities, especially in the South.


About Center Helping Obesity In Children End Successfully, Inc.
The Center Helping Obesity In Children End Successfully, Inc. (C.H.O.I.C.E.S.) is a non-profit organization formed in April 2002 to join the fight against the deadly epidemic of childhood obesity. The organization’s mission is to provide a parent and child resource center for the clinically diagnosed and at-risk children of obesity. To date, the Center has reached over 70,000 children and their families through healthier lifestyle programming, summer camps, parent workshops, public school collaborations and community outreach efforts in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information visit: 

About the Aetna Foundation
The Aetna Foundation, Inc. is the independent charitable and philanthropic arm of Aetna Inc. Since 1980, Aetna and the Aetna Foundation have contributed more than $427 million in grants and sponsorships, including more than $14.6 million awarded in 2012. As a national health foundation, we promote wellness, health, and access to high – quality health care for everyone. This work is enhanced by the time and commitment of Aetna employees, who have volunteered four million hours since 2003. The Aetna Foundation’s current giving is focused on addressing the rising rate of adult and childhood obesity in the U.S.; promoting racial and ethnic equity in health and health care; and advancing integrated health care. For more information, visit:

Contact: Kenya Heard
Tel: 678.819.3663

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